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COVID-19 : [incomplete, random, scattered] cart [information, analysis, questions]

Note: to see any of the graphs below more clearly, right-click to on the image and slect "view the image", or something like that...


Table of Contents :

Incomplete list of blog [themes, comments, questions] : the link numbers following the questions lead to emails that are relevant. Look through all the emails or do a text search for other themes.


Ourworldindata.org - New corona virus cases/day/population for selected countries (3-day average):



I start with the daily cases graph because infections lead to the [deaths, hospital resource usage] graphs. It may be strongly dependent on diagnostics capabilities in many countries, and has typically been an indication of severe cases only in hospitals, although I assume that has changed in many, if not most, countries as capabilities catch up. Note that it would be really nice to have whole-population testing, but my understanding is that we are not there yet (may never be?), and the limited surveys that have been done (Iceland close to 100%?) have to suffice. But perhaps there is another problem, I suspect, that even the precise biomarkers used to detect infection won't catch all.

Why don't I include plots of the CUMULATIVE deaths per country? Because based on what I hear in the mass media, from the [scientific, medical] experts, and from people I meet, nobody is doing simple math in their head, and everybody is jumping to garbage conclusions regarding "[performance, policy]" by country. Or, as my [family, friends, colleagues] say, perhaps it was just me... Frankly, it is more informative to have death rates, rather than total deaths, when comparing countries.




Ourworldindata.org - More extensive daily cases charts for countries, by region :

Note that the charts are generated by a data table with a fixed number of countries for each region. However, most regions do not have the fixed (maximum) number, so the "extra non-existent countries" show up as "0" with a flat line along the x-axis.

Click for ALL daily cases regional charts on a single web-page.

Anglophone Scandanavia
Northern Europe Southern Europe
North Africa Pacific Asia
South Asia Latin America
Mesopotamia etc Russia etc


I am missing most of Africa, and not all countries in a "region" are included, partly because I have tried to keep the number of curves on each chart to a readable maximum of 9. Plus, I am lazy...



Spreadsheets for generating the charts :

I have ONLY prepared charts for the daily cases of corona virus - the daily deaths are not provided. Please not that the [cases, deaths] curves are often significantly different, so it would be nice to have both.

The reader may do so themselves as a nice little project. Rather than use the limited daily deaths spreadsheet, it will be easiest for you to simply copy the daily cases spreaddsheet, and copy over the "data list" from the daily deaths spreadsheet. I have not provided a web-page with instructions to help you do that. Experienced spreadsheet programmers will find this to be trivial.

The spreadsheets for each of the charts above are :
Howell, OurWorldInData.org daily-covid-cases-per-million-three-day-avg
Howell, OurWorldInData.org daily-covid-deaths-per-million-3-day-avg.ods

The sheet to generate first two charts on this web-page were split up among the regions, but it is extremely easy for you to make a few quick changes to regenerate them.

Finally, my data processing will have errors, so do your checks!




Jumping off the cliff and into conclusions :

  1. << 0.1% 5-month death rate (deaths/5 months/total US population) to 04Aug2020 In other words, >> 99% of total population survives until 04Aug2020 (unless the end of the world occurs before then "Flattening the curve" means "Extending the curve" - While this is a wild guess, the data and better models seem suggestive of this speculation. Time may tell, but for example, it will be interesting to see if the "areas under the curve" for the [US, UK, Canada] eventually come out to the same as [Spain, Italy]. This implies the some number of deaths may ultimately result IN SPITE of [self-siolation, social distancing, etc], minus the portion saved (20-40%??) thanks to being able to moderate the load on the medical system (avoiding triage, giving medical staff a chance to more thoroughly caare for the seriously affected), and perhaps allowing alternative medical treatments to help until a vaccine becomes available in 1-2 years. Of course, most will object to this suggestion, but essentially all [health, medical, policy] experts have been impressively wrong all the way through this, in spite of modern medicine and health policy, several thousand years of history and experience with pandemics, and advanced results from China.
  2. European-descended countries seem to be having the worst of it, according to the limited selection of countries above.
  3. Sweden, a country that didn't go with strict [self-isolation, social distancing, etc], and didn't trash their economy, has results similar to the UK.
  4. Canada is doing surprisingly well.
  5. Don't necessarily blame the [crash, recession] on COVID-19!! - For a few rare nut-cases like myself, a 1929-style crash has been in the making for years, and was expected >1.5 years before the crash hit. While it is obvious that the corona virus at least catalysed the crash, one might also speculate that the timing of the corona virus coincides with the approximate timing it "should have happened" by ~[11, 60]-year solar cycles (more on that below).
  6. The cure may be many times worse than the disease - See the section below "The same number of people could die from 'deaths of despair' as have already died in the U.S. from coronavirus, new study finds".
  7. Chicken Little is a murderer? - myself included. This stupid comment follows from assuming that the point above could prove out. But considering that the [crash, recession] may have come anyways (as suggested above) then Chicken Little isn't really the primary culprit, but IS an accessory to the crime? What about the boy who cried wolf? Was he involved too? For myself, astronomy (the sun, it's drivers, and cosmic/galactic rays) is actually a primary suspect, with Chicken Little, a secondary suspect. Remember though - innocent until proven guilty.
  8. See the "Questions" section below for more zany issues...



COVID-19 data and models




USA Center for Disease Control - Leading Causes of Death 2017

Table C. Deaths and percentage of total deaths for the 10 leading causes of death
United States, 2016 and 2017.
Note the colored external data insertions by Howell, also indicated by "n/a".

Cause of death Rank 2017 Deaths %
All causes 0 2,813,503 100.0
Policy-driven economic recession (%%%) n/a 3,800,000 n/a
Policy-driven economic recession (%%) n/a 985,000 n/a
Diseases of heart 1 647,457 23.0
Policy-driven economic recession (#) n/a ~600,000 n/a
Malignant neoplasms 2 599,108 21.3
1918 Spanish flu n/a >500,000 n/a
COVID-19 by 04Aug2020 (***) n/a ~330,000 n/a
Policy-driven economic recession (%) n/a 275,000 n/a
COVID-19 by 04Aug2020 (**) n/a ~190,000 n/a
Accidents (unintentional injuries) 3 169,936 6.0
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 4 160,201 5.7
Cerebrovascular diseases 5 146,383 5.2
Alzheimer disease 6 121,404 4.3
COVID-19 by 04Aug2020 (*) n/a ~115,000 n/a
Diabetes mellitus 7 83,564 3.0
Influenza and pneumonia (2018-2019) (&) n/a 61,000 n/a
Influenza and pneumonia 8 55,672 2.0
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis 9 50,633 1.8
Intentional self-harm (suicide) 10 47,173 1.7

Spanish flu death estimate from Wikipedia
"... In the U.S., about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected, and 500,000 to 850,000 died (0.48 to 0.81 percent of the population).[77][78] Native American tribes were particularly hard hit. In the Four Corners area, there were 3,293 registered deaths among Native Americans.[79] Entire Inuit and Alaskan Native village communities died in Alaska.[80] In Canada, 50,000 died.[81] ..."
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html :
.....From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.

Policy-driven Economic recession using the Well Being Trust table below :
(very rough ballbark estimate of deaths for say 1 year of bad recession?)
Notice that it is completely ridiculous to extrapolate numbers this far, and the timing basis are different!!! However, everybody else is doing ridiculous things too, so we might as well join them.
  • (%%%) - [25% unemployment increase, 1.6% rate, Slow] -> 154k deaths * 25% ~= 3.8M deaths
  • (%%  ) - [15% unemployment increase, 1.3% rate, Medium] -> 65.6k deaths * 15% = 984k deaths
  • (%     ) - [10% unemployment increase, 1.0% rate, Fast] -> 27.6k deaths * 10% = 275k deaths
    (#) Policy-driven Economic recession - very rough ballbark using :
    ...... 40,000 US deaths / 1% employment increase * 15% un-employment increase.
    This was mentioned by actor Brad Pitt acting in the film "The Big Short", and has apparently been taught in university economics courses for years.

    (*) YYG projections [highest***, expected**, lowest*] as of 11May2020 (approximate - from the graphs below) for ~five months only, to 04Aug2020!
    (&) CDC estimated seasonal flu deaths for all of 2018-2019 flue season (see chart & link below)

    The estimates that I put into the table above do not show lives saved by avoiding hospital triage, and by being able to provide quality health care as helped by the policies!!



    Is the cure worse than the disease? Self-isolation, Social distancing, business shutdowns, job losses, economic recession"




    The same number of people could die from 'deaths of despair' as have already died in the U.S. from coronavirus, new study finds

    Published: May 9, 2020 at 8:14 p.m. ET, By Quentin Fottrell
    More Americans could lose their lives to deaths of despair, deaths due to drug, alcohol, and suicide, if we do not do something immediately

    In addition to more than 75,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19, the growing epidemic of "deaths of despair" in the U.S. is also increasing due to the pandemic - and another 75,000 more people will likely die from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, according to new research released by Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.

    Projections of additional "deaths of despair" range from 27,644, assuming a quick economic recovery and the smallest impact from unemployment, to 154,037, assuming a slow recovery and the greatest impact from unemployment. "We can prevent these deaths by taking meaningful and comprehensive action as a nation," the researchers wrote in the "deaths of despair" report published Friday.


    From : Howell's blog comments below :

    Howell : I don't get it. The table from Well Being Trust lists increases in mortality per 1% increase in unemployment, whereas unemployment has shot up by far more than that (say 10-20%). The [1, 1.3, 1.6]% groupings represent what? - I assumptions that the 1% is the base case, the rest are for higher scenarios, but it's confusing. Recalling the figure that apparently has been taught in economics classes, for every 1% increase in unemployment, 40,000 Americans due, so the table is in line with that, approximately. To me, it seems to suggest that FAR MORE Americans will die from the recession than corona virus, even if you take the higher range of model estimates. For example, the 08May2020 https://covid19-projections.com/#view-projections model has a high range off 300k deaths due to corona virus by 04Aug2020 (~180k as best guess, ~120k low). Compare that to a naive wild guess of 10% increase of unemployment times a medium projection of 50k deaths per 1% increase of unemployment = 500k deaths? I don't have much confidence in any of the numbers, but perhaps these are the best that we have.
    I received no reply from my blog on MarketWatch, as shown above... but I have included my interpretation in "Table C. Deaths and percentage of total deaths for the 10 leading causes of death" above.



    Corona virus models of [infections, deaths] cart [daily, total] : comparison of [YYG , Uof Washington IHME] projections

    Note : The first model that I saw online was posted in February by complete amateurs!! Their model simply adopted models that had been used for the Spanish flu, and (largely because of the simplicity) is far better described than some academic models. YYG claims "Artificial Intelligence" (at very brief glance, looks like very basic machine learning to me, but I would have to go through it in detail). Is this yet another case of the machines clobbering the best human academics? Is is also yet another case of apparently one individual (apparently not directly affiliated with an institution), besting well-[[salary & benefit]ed, established, permanent] experts of government (including academic) institutions?

    "... covid19-projections.com (YYG) is made by Youyang Gu, an independent data scientist. Youyang completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), double majoring in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Mathematics. He also received his Masters degree at MIT, completing his thesis as part of the Natural Language Processing group at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His expertise is in using machine learning to understand data and make accurate predictions. ..."

    I show both YYG and IHME results below. I feel thaat it is important to have an idea of the uncertainties surrounding models in general, and this is a great example of the. IHME results have been widely used since the start of the pandemic, but presumably this will change given the results. I also use Ourworlldindata.com for the country charts. "... Raw data on confirmed cases and deaths for all countries is sourced from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). ..." But I would switch to John Hopkins University if I was to redo the charts (and show both on selected graphs for comparison). So even the data is uncertain! This is very normal - it is a big mistake to assume ironclad truths.

    YYG (11May2020 projections) Uof Washinton - IHME (10May2020 projections)



    An extremely important point to note is the the YYG cumulative projections look linear into the future, without significant drop-off, presumably affected by relaxing of health policies, return-to-work and entertainment. This issue also comes up in Questions below.

    YYG infections, UoW IHME hospital resource usage :


    YYG comparison of several model projections :



    I didn't actually track down the web-pages with graphs other than for [YYG, UofW IHME], but here are a couple of links for a few others :
    Imperial College, London
    MIT Covid Analytics
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Iowa State University
    Columbia University




    Non-corona virus pandemics :

    US Center for Disease Control (CDC) - seasonal flu 2010-2017 :





    Astronomical correlates of pandemics

    Tapping, Mathias, Surkan - influenza pandemics since 1720 :

    Note that in several references below, charts are shown that suggest [malaria, cholera, bubonic plague, ebola?] may also have this correlation.

    Rebuttals of the solar correlation
    Key issues :
    Other references :

    There is a huge range of other [astronomy, geology, climate, history, psychology, sociology, stock markets etc] research with correlations to astronomical quasi-periods. This is best illustrated by Steven Puetz's work!! (kind of like the system of 20+ Mayan calendars, but way beyond it! Here are a few of my references :
    Howell - Pandemics and the sun
    Howell - Selected pandemics & epidemics.pdf
    Hoyte & Schatten year - solar influence on climate & natural systems, graphs.pdf
    Tapping, Mathias, Surkan - Pandemics & solar activity
    Stephen Puetz - Universal Cycle Theory - You'll have to buy one of his books to get the full view, but Puetz has a great many published scientific papers as well.



    Questions, Successes, Failures :

    The intent below is to [provoke, challenge mainstream] thinking, and NOT to provide answers. My own approach is to try to maintin "multiple conflicting hypothesis", which always includes mainstream consensus thinking, including historical theories that have been rejected. The tools are here for my use, I am not here to be a tool of somebody's concept.

    Most certainly, my points will have errors. That is the case with even the most cherish scientific theories, although to a far lesser extent.



    Questions :

    As they say : "A picture is worth a thousand words."
    To which I add : "A good question is worth a thousand good answers.

    1. Almost-linear projections of cumulative [cases, deaths] into the future, rather than an inverted U shape with extended leg?
      • YYG projects an almost flat daily death rate to 04Aug2020, and an almost linear rise in cumulative [infection, deaths].
      • The Uof Washington IHME projects an inverted U shaped daily death curve that dies around 04Aug2020, and an almost asymptotic cumulative projection into the future.
      My own pure guess is that the YYG projection is more likely as long as strict self-isolation and "social distancing" is followed, and as long as the infection rates aren't above some threshold (40-70% - I haven't seen numbers for that, but it is implicit in many models).
    2. Why do new cases/day/population vary so dramatically amoung countries? Is there a big differential in susceptibility? It really looks like the causcasian populations are the main problem, but other factors could explain [some, all] of that. Poor compliance to self-isolation, the wearing masks if indeed that is important (beliefs vary), ??? are examples of other potential explanations.
    3. Is the weekly pronounced variation of new cases something that can be used to estimate the effects of relaxing, abandoning] self-isolation etc? My guess is that it is being used by a very few experts. But based on media comments by essentially all others, and their poor performance to date in their [explanations, advice] to the public, we can't rely on them in their own field of expertise.
    4. Do masks for the general population help? This wasn't even a question for the Far East. Maybe that doesn't explain the huge difference in impacts, maybe it does, along with other factors like [gloves, always at work, compliance, travel, ???].
    5. Why is there NO mention of the sun? In spite of uncertainties and failures of solar models to some extent, they are still the ONLY major exogenous variable with major [modelling, predictive] power for periods greater than a few few months. This is very reminiscent of the book "Mankind in amnesia" by Immanual Velikovsky's daughter. That book tries to explain the blindness of scientists and their nasty behaviour in dealing with his work, by considering why that arises so much across history when dealing with astronomical issues.
    6. Has Western society lost it's ability to put things in context, and make hard-nosed decisions?
    7. obviously, I still have items to add...



    Why are European-descended countries particularly hard hit? :

    Here is a pure guess :
    1. Don't forget that many other countries have had severe problems, not just European-descended. It's just that it is more the norm for the European-descended.
    2. Are European-descended nations harder-hit, or does the available data only make it look so? There are huge issues with data, even with the best of data under laboratory conditions, and when dealing with regions around the world, things get complicated really fast.
    3. Behaviours, laws - Far Eastern countries are used to wearing [masks, gloves]? They can be brutal on the enforcement side, even though they don't have to be to get very good compliance anyways.
    4. Self-isolation, Social-distancing - Maany countries have very low covid cases, and yet it's vbery difficult for me to imagine social distancing for most of the world. Think : [Bangladesh, India, China, Hong Kong,...]. Does that term even have the same meaning in places like that?
    5. Immune systems - This whole issue reminds me of my frather's experience when working in South-East asia. When seeing people [bath, cook, brush teeth, play, work] in rivers and streams that were about the samea as our sewage effluent, he asked a local that he was working with : "I don't understand how any of you can survive!" The answer : "You have to understand that if you survive past the age of five, there just aren't many diseases that can kill you!". A jestful response, but perhaps full of meaning. Contrast that to our suspicions for allergies etc, that perhaps we are not exposed enough to, to build up effective immune sytems.
    6. Business travel - New York is a great example of a major intenational business center that really had a hard time with COVID-19. Not all international business ceters seem to have had quite the same problem, but it may be a factor.
    7. Tourism - This might explain some of the problems with [Spain, Italy]. It is very interesting to note that Paris, apparently the world's #1 tourist destination for some time(?) was not an issue in the news that I read.
    8. Do many other countries even care? Given the relatively very low impact of COVID-19 in many coutries so far, and the prevalence of so many other killer diseases all of the time, do they look at us as making a tempest in a teapot?
    9. Vaccines - On a separate, crazy note, which does not belong here, I just read a fascinating section on suspicions that vaccines may have greatly contributed to the Spanish flu effects. Actually laboratory exposures (mucous transfers etc), researchers found it hard too get any transmission (???!!!). I'm a fan of vaccines, and I haven't read any further, but just something to pursue long after I'm dead.
    10. ... there area huge number of other factors



    Was the virus made in a lab in China? :

    I am treating this question separately, as it seems to come up constantly. I would not give 25 cents for my thoughts below, but here we go...

    1. To me, the starting point is to actually look into the question "Why are European descended nations among the hardest hit?" as listed above!! It seems to me that very simple explanations, backed by [long, difficult] research, can easily explain the effects many times over? This is a complete guess on my part, but those questions are more [broad, deep, interesting] than the bio-weapons drumbeat, and they have a vastly better chance of generating useful results.
    2. I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories in general. Even though conspiracies exists (eg sports teams conspire to defeat their opponents), in general you seem to have to wade through 10,000 announcements of conspiracy to find one that may be reasonable. For the most part, these beliefs seem to mostly reflect [bias, fear, hatred, wishful thinking] of their proponents, or are a means of promoting a political view and attack opponents.
    3. It seems to me, naively, that the overwhelming majority of "conspiracies" (nd often crimes) are the product of stupidity, not well-[designed, planned, executed] ill-intent. On that basis, I suspect that most of my [family, friends, collegues] think that I am conspiring all of the time!
    4. If you want to believe that China made the virus intentionally to see if there is any support for the idea, well, that's much easier said than done. Rather than [yapping, waving your arms] like everybody else, put in a few weeks full-time equivalent work to research into it. Add to the light, not to the noise. There are plenty of others that want to be seen as "prescient leaders" by blurting out things before their friends do.
    5. On the completely inadequate basis of the daily cases per country as shown in the charts provided, it seems that European-descended countries are having a hard time - much more than the great majority of the rest of the world. It is similar to the much more limited MERS (?Middle East Respiratory Syndrome?) corona pandemic about 10 years ago. One could suspect a bio-weapons program, testing out one race at a time?
    6. What about the US-born (so often stated) Spanish Flu of 1918, which completely dwarfs corona virus so far. Will you apply the conspiracy theory to the USA, and Canada, and ...?
    7. Let's assume for now, that
    8. Apparently, Dr. Fauci of the USA, the lead medical face for the war on COVID-19, might have had a joint research project with the Chinese on bat viruses? Is Dr. Fauci part of this evil conspiracy to kill us off? That's a diabolically fun idea, but not something I'd put my money on. Could his research have aided a bio-weapons program? Yes - like all virus research. Ideas aren't nailed to one plaace.
    9. Assume for a moment that COVID-19 was the product of a bio-weapons progrm. Then :
      • Was its release intended or accidental. Accidental release is a pretty good probability for anybody - again, a possibility for the Spanish flu from the US? Intended release doesn't seem to match what we've seen? Everybody doing research to help save the world from pandemics is a potential source of the viral pandemics that they are trying to save us from.
      • Why on earth would you use corona virus of the type that has "escaped"? Why not use something far more [transmissible, deadly], and that is effective against working-aged people? Of course, the use of a "noticeable" pandemic, one that shows potential, but that doesn't cause WWIII, is a plausible reason.
      • Have the "so-called evil Chinese" done us a huge favour?
        • At the actual level of impact of COVID-19, this has been a great wake-up call for us to continue and extend pandemic preparations, which might have been too focussed on influenza despite previous corona virus outbreaks? That might sound callous given the deaths, but a loss of attention is like the challenge of safety - it's always an issue, and easy to lose.
        • If the pandemic was a deliberate bio-weapons attack, then in spite of their intentions, they have done us such a HUGE favour that it's difficult to put it on a scale! Hard-core [evidence, analysis] of bio-weapons actions would provide enormous drive to our efforts at defense, potentially saving vastly more than what is at stake with COVID-19, and in very strategic contexts. Of course, everybody dismissed such ideas before (eg chemical wepaons in the Mid-East).
    I do not have an answer to this question. I'm sure that others have dug into it with huge [scientific, investigative] resources, and I have NOT followed whatever information may be available. I suspect that very little of the real information is publicly available, and I do not have any confidence that the mass media cannot be relied on as a source even if they do get information. There are serious [professional, amateur]s out there, but you have to find the "one in ten thousand" mind. I am certainly not that type, which is easy to see whn you run into them (rarely). I also don't think that this is a property of an individual (nor is genius), although it is more likely to occur with some. I see too many "geniuses of a theme" make complete fools of themselves later with the same theme, and consistently with other themes.

    You most certainly can blame me for "... seeing what I want to see, and hiding behind my fears ...". It is one of my "multiple conflicting hypothesis", but it is not something I will put time into until there is something more solid, and until I read the analysis of a "one in ten thousand" author.



    Apparent successes of the medical, scientific] experts? :

    1. Medical system - I feel that the medical system, and the people in it, have done an admirable job. I DON'T so much criticise our systems for being un-prepared, as that is difficult to sustain over long periods with such huge competition for [priorities, funds]. It is far too easy to be an arm-chair critic in hindsite. The system has been anticipating another influenza pandemic, and that may still happen. But there are key differences with the corona virus, including the need for special respirators.
    2. Early anticipation that COVID-19 would NOT be much of a problem (including ?Fauchie, who apparently collaborated on bat virus research, if I remember correctly?) - I think that criticisms are misplaced. Who would have anticipated that COVID-19 would be especially problematic for European-descended nations? This will sometimes be the case. An example is the previous MERS corona pandemic, which apparently affected mostly Middle Eastern countries.
    3. Data collection - Although I wonder if the data was best presented, and there will always be huge problems collecting it (especially in developing nations?), our medical systems did a superb job.
    4. Pandemic modelling - When I worked as a chemical commodity market research manager, the joke was that "... Forecasting is a particularly hazardous occupation, especally if you try to apply it to the future. ...". The models have been key to helping to prioritize resources! Intersting point - the YYG model claims to be using "Atificial intelligence". Here is yet another area where the experts may be trounced hands down by the machines.
    5. Behaviour changes - It is difficult to change habits, and to encourage people to change their behaviours when the danger doesn't seem close and imminent. Overall, I thik this went very well, although I wonder if we shouldn't have tried to emphasize [masks, glos] more. Maybe it would have made a huge difference, maybe not, but
    6. Vaccines - still to come, and yet there are a very impressive array of old and new science projects to combat the corona viruses. Some, like the RNA-based vaccines, will possibly be revolutionary, and not just for pandemics!
    7. obviously, this list is woefully short!... There are a lot of great aspects to the experts' responses and policy actions.



    Apparent failures of essentially ALL [medical, scientific] experts, and the mass media? :

    1. Ignore health effects from [self-isolation, economic impacts] - Experts have been all-to-happy to cite the long-standing (and apparently taught in at least a few economics classes) 40,000 deaths per 1% increase in unemployment, when that was helpful for their purposes. Now that we are [actively, purposely] trashing down the economy in a HUGE way, all of that thinking suddenly disappears? Bullshit. All we hear is that we have to spend a ton of money on mental health issues. That is important, but also convenient. Apparently only President Trump and a very few others have been publicly raising the importance of getting back to work.
    2. We are all going to die -
    3. "Killing the dead" - HUGE omission of thinking with many public health issues, not just pandemics! In other words, what fraction of deaths occurred with those right on the edge? Some experts actually tried to make it look like we are ALL at high risk (sometimes even equally), and statements like that still come out. No mention of the virus having the "key" to specific individuals immune systems to explain the small portion of [younger adults, children].
    4. The public was led to believe that self-isolation & other measures would endure [2 weeks -> 1 month -> 1.5 months]. The 2-week announcement to the public was based on what kind of thinking? Was this manipulated to make it easier for people to go along? (in other words, we were lied to big time) Even seasonal flu doesn't follow that time frame, and we have vaccines for it (albeit not always effective)!
    5. Bell-curve of quick extinction of [infection, death]s - To me, this was always questionable, as the basis for pandemics was that their termination was caused by :
      • the virus gradually runs out of "fresh victims", while the infected population largely becomes resistant, while a few die. In the case of ebola, 1918 Spanish flu] population, the death rates were much higher, and this was a possibility, but after the China example, the question was whether death rates would be far greater for various countries.
      • a vaccine becomes available, or mediating medical treatments drastically reduce the effects of the virus.
      But it doesn't look like there was sufficient consideration for how [self-isolation, social distancing, etc] might seriously extend the curves.
    6. We didn't know what to expect - Blatently not correct, as China had already provided the example, along with [SARS, MERS] 10 years before. Big surprises can happen, but that applies to every disease. Are we now going to shut down whole sectors of the economy for three months every year for [seasonal flu, common cold, etc]?
    7. We can avoid the problem by strict self-isolation and other measures - No, the virus does not appear to be losing interest and disappearing on its own. This kind of thinking one expects from babies ("peek a boo"), very young children (close your eyes to hide), and apparently expert scientists as well. As for the mass media : "peek a boo!".
    8. They didn't consider that "Flattening the curve" may also mean "extending the curve", or if they did, they weren't honest about it. This is a huge failure of thinking.
    9. It is necessary to disrupt 100% of the population for only ~5%, and at the same time mis-allocate resources so that the 5% were not properly protected.
    10. It seems that vastly better information is available on the blogs, often provided with analysis by complete amateurs, than from the mass media.
    11. I suspect that there are several excellent analysis by [medical, scientific] experts, but that this is drown out almost completely by [conventional, conformist, highly [constrained, limited] beliefs by essentially all other experts (one in ten thousand rule).
    12. obviously, I still have items to add...
    Of course, some points above will not be correct, but in the aggregate they are damning. Yes, we area ll human...




    The population in general

    I haven't composed anything on this yet...


    Break on through to the Dark Side

    This topic fits well into my theme "Lies, Damned Lies, and Scientists". Even though scientists are not the only group involved, the theme is universally applied to all home sapiens.
    See also : "Pandemics, health, and the sun" (menu above).




    Howell's blog posts to MarketWatch etc


    ********
    09May2020

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-same-number-of-people-could-die-from-deaths-of-despair-as-have-already-died-in-the-us-from-coronavirus-new-study-finds-2020-05-08?mod=newsviewer_click
    The same number of people could die from 'deaths of despair' as have already died in the U.S. from coronavirus, new study finds
    Published: May 9, 2020 at 8:14 p.m. ET
    By Quentin Fottrell
    'More Americans could lose their lives to deaths of despair, deaths due to drug, alcohol, and suicide, if we do not do something immediately'

    In addition to more than 75,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19, the growing epidemic of "deaths of despair" in the U.S. is also increasing due to the pandemic - and another 75,000 more people will likely die from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, according to new research released by Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.

    Projections of additional "deaths of despair" range from 27,644, assuming a quick economic recovery and the smallest impact from unemployment, to 154,037, assuming a slow recovery and the greatest impact from unemployment. "We can prevent these deaths by taking meaningful and comprehensive action as a nation," the researchers wrote in the "deaths of despair" report published Friday.

    200509 MarketWatch, Well Being Trust - deaths of despair with unemployment increases.png

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Howell : I don't get it. The table from Well Being Trust lists increases in mortality per 1% increase in unemployment, whereas unemployment has shot up by far more than that (say 10-20%). The [1, 1.3, 1.6]% groupings represent what? - I assumptions that the 1% is the base case, the rest are for higher scenarios, but it's confusing. Recalling the figure that apparently has been taught in economics classes, for every 1% increase in unemployment, 40,000 Americans due, so the table is in line with that, approximately. To me, it seems to suggest that FAR MORE Americans will die from the recession than corona virus, even if you take the higher range of model estimates. For example, the 08May2020 https://covid19-projections.com/#view-projections model has a high range off 300k deaths due to corona virus by 04Aug2020 (~180k as best guess, ~120k low). Compare that to a naive wild guess of 10% increase of unemployment times a medium projection of 50k deaths per 1% increase of unemployment = 500k deaths? I don't have much confidence in any of the numbers, but perhaps these are the best that we have.

    ********
    25Apr2020

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/flatlined-hospitalization-numbers-in-new-york-state-troubling-2020-04-24?mod=mw_more_headlines
    Flatlined hospitalization numbers in New York state 'troubling'
    Published: April 25, 2020 at 8:47 a.m. ET
    By Beckie Strum
    Roughly 1,300 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized daily in recent days, but public health experts say even plateaus can signal progress

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Howell :
    Why is a sustained flattened curve at all surprising? "Flattening the curve" also means "extending the curve", meaning one has to maintain the same economy-killing measures just to tread water until the curve declines. As typically stated, the curve [peaks, declines] when the virus has already infected a good chunk (40-60%? I don't know) of the population. Very high (perhaps approaching 100%) exposure of the entire population should be assumed in the mid-term, as with normal [common, cold, flue, etc]. This constrasts to TB, and other past quarantines. Essentially all of the "protection" comes from our immune systems (ready or not), with bad news for the [old, weak] and those for whom the virus has the key for their immune system. Nobody's been stupid enough to guess the benefit of reducing "medical overload", but I'm stupid, so out of ignorance I'll just cook up that 20-40% of the deaths that would have happened will be saved? Whatever it is, it's not 100%, nor is it seasonal flu. Hard-nosed decisions have to be made, and are being made. You might not trust the Chinese stats, but at least it seems (illusion?) that they are capable of making decisions, and aren't as dominated by our politically-correct thinking. They have their own politically-correct thinking to deal with.

    I cut out :
    A primary objective of social distancing, mostly to reduce [hospital, staff] overload and triaging.
    Did everyone think this as a very short term seasonal-like pandemic?
    but China has only recently relaxed, and it's not back to normal because many
    [China, Korea, Hong Kong, etc] gave some hope, but strong measures still apply.
    (still an overload) on the medical system
    The real question is a trade-off of many factors, including the economy, barring or find better mixes of approaches


    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-states-are-loosening-economic-shut-down-orders-texas-expected-to-announce-new-rules-soon-2020-04-23?mod=article_inline
    >> list of openings by state
    200424 MarketWatch, US BurEconAnlys How much does each state contribute to US GDP.png

    These states are loosening economic shut-down orders; Texas expected to announce new rules soon
    Published: April 24, 2020 at 12:03 p.m. ET
    By Silvia Ascarelli
    States all have their own definition of 'reopening'

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    FBrep to Yves Poirier

    I certainly don't know. My first guess is to simply follow the Uof Washington IHME team, as they update their USA model at least weekly (very low by mid-May to June). My second guess is that seasonal re-occurrences will occur as long as the seasonal flu continues (i.e., forever), and we'll either get used to it or go into two months self-isolation every year to avoid the [flu, corona] (yes, I do think we're that stupid). "Flattening the curve" also means "extending the curve", with big benefits in being able to apply limited medical resources, and it will be interesting to see if that shows by country policies. Sweden hasn't done the self-isolation, and while their curve is still rising, if it doesn't skyrocket that might be saying something. My ignorant guess is perhaps a 20%-40% savings in lives by self-isolation's improved medical access, with of course 100% exposure of populations to the virus over a not-so-long-term. Are we already at 30-70% exposure (at some point this is what drives the curves down)? Clearly, almost all of our protection is from our immune systems, but its bad news for the [old, weak] and those whose immune system key is in the hands of the virus. But I'm just guessing...
    http://www.billhowell.ca/Cool%20stuff/200407%20CDC%20influenza%20burden%20USA,%202010-2018.png

    Not posted :
    All that changes if the virus mutates to evil fast enough (record number of "galactic/cosmic ray days last summer/fall (magnetic Kp index on floor 24 hours), or if a [vaccine, wonder treatment] reduces the impact.

    Only now are some "experts" (none in Canada?) commenting that this is longer-term (remember : isolation of 2 weeks, then 1 month, then 1.5 months, ...). Few are commenting that it looks more and more like the seasonal flu (forever), with corona twists. I'm furious (as usual) at the [medical, science] experts and the media. Very bad [analysis, misinformation] on a familiar story several thousand years long.


    **********
    14Apr2020

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/prepare-for-social-distancing-into-2022-warns-harvard-researchers-2020-04-15?mod=newsviewer_click
    The U.S. could be looking at social distancing measures into 2022, Harvard researchers warn
    Published: April 15, 2020 at 11:27 a.m. ET
    By Shawn Langlois

    &&&&&&&&&&&&
    Howell's blog :
    While waiting for a vaccine, a number of interim medical treatments are being applied, and new ones are being developed. As suggested by some, what we need now is to allow social mixing for the [COVID-cured, relatively immune], which should be a dominant majority of the population who don't develop serious hospitalizing symptoms. Self-isolation and quarantine for those who are at risk, not for everyone. What would really help here is a [test, certification] for those who are relatively resistant to the disease. They still may get quite sick, but not requiring hospitalisation. I don't know if such tests exist, but we really need them now!


    **********
    10Apr2020

    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/is-the-economy-going-to-crash-because-of-coronavirus-how-quickly-will-the-economy-revive-51586560301?mod=newsviewer_click
    Here's How Bad the Economy Will Get - and How Quickly It Could Revive
    By Randall W. Forsyth
    April 10, 2020 7:11 pm ET

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Can't post - Barrons, Yes I can - just go to the Barron's site!
    William Howell - Assuming that this is a COVID-19-only hiccup, not a market fall [hastened, catalysed] by COVID-19, which was expected on a worse scale by a number of bears for a year or two. It's perhaps hard to assess value in near-zero interest rate environments, and you assume that they remain that way and import cash flows don't run after the rest of the world picks up. With huge [internal, non-[US, Europe] export markets, a vastly healthier debt situation, not-necessarily-more-fictitious [market, economic] numbers, and a still-impressive (albeit much reduced) growth, China might be looking more [stable, promising] to many until US [stability, growth] have proven staying power and attractive fundamentals. Bulls and bears, greed and fear, anchovies and pizza, life goes on... for some.


    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/another-victim-of-covid-19-social-security-2020-04-10?mod=newsviewer_click
    Opinion: Another victim of COVID-19: Social Security
    Published: April 10, 2020 at 3:15 p.m. ET
    By Paul Brandus
    Long-term and short-term problems are looming

    And that something is already beginning to give. For the first time since 1982, Social Security is paying out more than it in taking in; by 2035-just 15 years from now-its cash reserve (the so-called "trust fund") will be depleted. After that, the Social Trustees (the head Trustee is Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin) warns that Social Security will only "be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits." In other words: a 25% cut.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    William Howell - We need hyper-virtual-reality like [The Matrix, Total Recall, Ready Player One], where us old guys float in liquid chambers with minimal [capital, operating] cost: texting, watching perpetual reruns, exotic vacations, restaurants, living out our [powers, greatness]. Best thing is, none of us will even notice the change. One drawback, as stated in Ready Player One, "the only place to get a good meal is in the real world". They'll have to work on that, but it should be do-able virtually.


    **********
    09Apr2020

    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-ways-to-get-a-coronavirus-skeptic-to-take-the-pandemic-seriously-anecdotes-are-much-more-convincing-than-statistics-2020-04-08?mod=newsviewer_click
    10 ways to get a coronavirus skeptic to take the pandemic seriously: 'Anecdotes are much more convincing than statistics'
    Published: April 9, 2020 at 9:52 p.m. ET
    By Meera Jagannathan
    What if someone in your life is part of the small sliver of the population that isn't taking the threat of the pandemic seriously?

    &&&&&&&&&&&&
    David Clay - Yeah, ignore those pesky statistics and focus on fear and emotion. Here are some actual numbers.
    0.000195 of the world's population has this "pandemic."
    Dr. Anthony "Big Pharma" Fauci now predicts 60,000 deaths in US, down from his crazed two million number. 80,000 people died from the flu during the 2017-18 season. No shutdown for that.
    North and South Dakota had no shutdown. They have about 10 deaths total. Why weren't they wiped out?
    Calls to suicide hotlines are up 2500%.

    Benjamin Franklin - Very well said

    Howell - Yes - From what I see, it is the anecdotal (and emotional) thinkers who tend to see the end of the world, and who are only too happy to clamp down on others. But giving anecdotal tools to anecdotal thinkers probably does make sense, and in any case they're probably used to the rolling of the eyes of the beneficiaries of their lectures. In the end, it's probably belief systems and fears (for some), and hard-nosed "here we go again" (for others) that have a heavy influence on our reactions, not so much supposed analysis. So on with the thundering herd....

    **********
    07Apr2020

    My MarketWatch blog
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-york-governor-looks-to-antibody-testing-as-a-potential-means-to-get-people-back-to-work-2020-04-07?mod=newsviewer_click
    New York governor looks to antibody testing as a potential means to get people back to work
    Published: April 7, 2020 at 6:59 p.m. ET
    By Beckie Strum
    As early indications show a possible plateauing of coronavirus cases in New York, state leaders are looking at how to return to some sort of normalcy

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Howell - Interesting - something that I've been waiting to see : that people who have had the disease (or exposed and resistant) are good to go, but others will be at risk for the duration of this epidemic or its resurgence (possibly mutated) until a vaccine comes out (1-2 years?). Do they get a certification of [resistance, non-transmit-ability]? Will they be hot items on a reviving job market (probably NOT - as the vast majority of people will fall into that category once exposed)? The winds may be changing due to the efforts of a few, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be following carefully and adapting well.

    harry stratton - They would be resistant to re -infection (symptoms) but an A-symptomatic person can still pick up and carry the virus , wherever, for 14-29 days

    Howell - Harry, are you comfortable with the "instant disappearance, non-contagion" of diseases, for one who has developed immunity? This seems to ban implicity assumption in thys the news and expertise is provided. I am NOT knowledgeable about [virus, bacteria, microbe, parasite] diseases, but the mere re-occurence of diseases in [original, different life-stage, mutated] forms after [seasons, years, decades], seem to leave a huge gap in the concept, apart from assuming that it was carried off elsewhere or exists in some localised bio-reservoir (which is fine, but I'm looking for more). Malaria (parasite?), Herpes, HIV, and pretty well all of the big pandemics like [cholera, influenza, smallpox], and many I don't remember, continue on. So do the bacteria, viruses in your digestive system etc. "Shazam, the virus is gone" isn't being claimed by anybody, but that impression kind of stuck with me from the news coverage.

    John G - Which would tell you that the number of actual cases is in the million already

    Howell -Likely, isofar as "actually exposed" but not in the reported (confirmed) cases, as per https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html For the 2017-2018 seasonal flu, IHME estimates were ~45 M illnesses, which doesn't include "exposed but not ill enough to care or notice". Just taking 3 k deaths so far in the US, adding by 61 k $ flu deaths in 2017-2018, and multiplying by 45 M gives you complete nonsense (I admit), but its a big number. IHME projects 82 k deaths in the USA by 04Aug2020, so both by the IHME model projection, and by comparisons to 2017-18 seasonal flu, we have a long way to go yet, and millions are already touched by it.


    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/big-short-investor-who-made-a-killing-during-the-financial-crisis-the-economic-shutdown-is-worse-than-the-coronavirus-2020-04-07?mod=newsviewer_click
    'Big Short' investor says the shutdown is worse than the coronavirus: 'It bleeds deep anguish and suicide'
    Published: April 7, 2020 at 4:35 p.m. ET
    By Shawn Langlois
    ...
    He offered more detail in his emails this week to Bloomberg News as to why he would immediately lift stay-at-home orders for everybody but high-risk groups.

    "I would let the virus circulate in the population that is not likely to get severe disease from it," he wrote. "This is the only path that comes close to balancing the needs of all groups. Vaccines are not coming anytime soon, so natural immunity is the only way out for now. Every day, every week in the current situation is ruining innumerable lives in a criminally unjust manner."

    Meanwhile, the COVID-19 tally keeps rising in the U.S., home to the most confirmed cases at almost 400,000, with 11,851 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, here are now 1.39 million cases and 79,091 deaths. Another 292,973 people have recovered.
    >> Awesome, tuys (Trump and him) make sense!

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Howell - It's great to see someone stand out and question the current orthodoxy. It will be interesting to see what % of COVID-19 serious cases are saved by "flattening the curve" (eg reducing peak (shock) demands on hospital resources to reduce triaging and effects on other patients). Will this just end up as an exceptionally bad flu season? https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

    Nabil Istafananus - The problem with this reasoning is you can't prove the counterfactual. It is absolutely clear, this virus left unabated and no vaccines is more than 10 times more deadly than the flu. After we open up the economy in 60 days, these same folks will say, see, this was only as bad as the flu and they won't believe that social distancing actually saved millions of lives. We can't prove it. I trust the infectious disease experts and the massive mobilization of our scientists for effective treatment will be enough to open things up gradually. Folks who are saying opening up the economy without a strong testing and proven treatments are short-term thinkers and simply protecting their porfolios. The stock market will come back. Take a deep breath and calm down folks. We're in this together and I trust that we will not be locked down forever.

    Howell - Nabil Istafananus - Thanks, and I agree with your comments. Believe me, I am not looking for "proofs", nor could I expect that. But I am hoping to see a range of estimates over time based on diverse approaches (what I call "multiple conflicting hypothesis") that are transparent and available (subject to privacy constraints etc, in the health area, of course). At the end of the day, lessons learned and comparisons to past pandemics are not just inevitable, but part of the process of improving (we hope). Others will not have our perspective, nor do we have theirs, which is normal.


    +-----+
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
    Burden of influenza
    CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million - 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 - 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 - 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Hopefully the COVID-19 situation will have improved by at least the middle of August so that fans can get back into their normal baseball stadiums?

    If the COVID-19 deaths end up at ~85 k (thousand), this is like an exceptionally bad flu season! Nobody was sure how this would turn out, but China had already shown the way and something of what could be expected. Very different context, though, given the very tough measures taken in China, and they seem to have been ready for this (thanks to SARS etc?).

    However, if deaths turn out to be 250 k or 1 M (million), then it is in a somewhat different class, perhaps like the Spanish flu. Estimates of death and disruption to lives because of the economic impacts of self-isolation and business shutdowns are important, as we don't do that for seasonal flu, and COVID-19 sets a precedent. A rule of thumb of 40,000 deaths per 1% increase in unmployment appeared in the film "The Big Short", and apparently is used in some economics classes, but it seems that is a guess in the dark, and I think it's crazy to extrapolate that to 20-25% unemployment. By now, I think that everyone realizes how serious the impacts are of "social distancing" as currently applied, but also how important that has been to allow the health care system to cope. Thank goodness for the ventilators that were on hand, and kudos to medical personnel on the front lines.

    http://www.billhowell.ca/Pandemics,%20health,%20and%20the%20Sun/200407%20CDC%20influenza%20burden%20USA,%202010-2018.png
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

    **********
    06Apr2020

    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-new-york-flattens-and-hospitalizations-fall-suggesting-social-distancing-is-working-2020-04-06?mod=newsviewer_click
    Number of coronavirus deaths in New York flattens and hospitalizations fall, suggesting social distancing is working
    Published: April 6, 2020 at 7:17 p.m. ET
    By Liz Lucking
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned against making a 'mistake' of overconfidence and thinking the crisis is nearly over

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    My questions :
    If the curve is flattening, could that mean one or more of the following :
    - the disease has already spread to much of the population (most seem to be resistant?), so cases will soon decline as happened in China?
    - the same cumulative number of people will have been infected by the end of the pandemic (not counting further waves that would be normal) as without social distancing, but spread out much more (it's not clear how the models handle that)?
    - by flattening the curve, is there some report on the "extra lives saved" due to lower demands on the medical systems and therefore the ability to care for patients has avoided much of the "triaging" that has happended in some [region,country]s? An IHME web-page mentionned something about a 20% reduction but it's not clear what theat really meant. I've lost track of the web-page,t a link to IMHE is : https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections
    - are [special, new] medical treatments helping a great deal (beyond the ventilators, and great medical care), given that we do not yet have a vaccine?

    Left out :
    Perhaps that is hardly possible anymore - almost everything is taken in a political context even when politics may be irrelevant to the [subject, many people who are involved] (or perhaps I am alone?).


    **********
    01Apr2020

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/investor-money-is-flowing-into-alibaba-amazon-intel-and-microsoft-2020-03-25?mod=article_inline
    Opinion: Bullish investors pour money into Alibaba, Amazon, Intel and Microsoft
    Published: March 25, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. ET
    By Nigam Arora
    That's what professional investors are buying. Momentum chasers are purchasing Apple, AMD, Netflix and Tesla
    Alibaba is the 'most interesting' among a group of 11 stocks of large technology companies.

    ?source?
    The Federal Reserve, President Trump and Congress have come up with $6 trillion in stimulus and relief programs to help the economy.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    01Apr2020 My comment - posted 02Apr2020 MarketWatch
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-for-the-deepest-recession-on-record-says-bofa-analysts-as-jobless-claims-surge-to-66-million-2020-04-02?mod=mw_latestnews
    COVID-19 "Peak versus Area of the pandemic curve"?
    To what extent does the AREA under the pandemic curve area remain the same until effective vaccines are developed? In other words, does "flattening the curve" result in much the same [number, % of population] of infected people as simply letting the pandemic spread? :
    - On the plus side, by spreading out the disease over time, there could be a huge reduction of the peak loads on the medical system, plus there is more time to build up people, resources] to tackle the problem. That, plus other factors, might significantly reduce [severe cases, deaths], but : what % reduction under what scenarios?
    - On the minus side, widespread shut-downs damage people's work, businesses, finances, i.e. the economy in general. An oft-cited number is that 40,000 US citizens die for every % increase in unemployment. I don't trust that number, but the politically-correct use it to push their agenda, so now it can be used with confidence where they don't like it (not by their reasoning, of course). Several economists have forecast 20-25% unemployment with COVID-19, plus a risk of major recession. Is there any validity in any of the numbers below for projected deaths in the USA ? :
    - 800,000 from recession (@ 40,000 deaths per % unemployment increase)
    - 250,000 from COVID-19 (Donald Trump ~31Mar2020, project to the end of April?)
    -10,000,000 from COVID-19 (a friend's guess - you can do this too)
    A very nice amateur analysis, and the only quantitative model that I've seen in the net so far, was Posted on February 26, 2020 by Chris Stelter at :
    https://selenianboondocks.com/2020/02/modeling-covid-19-when-will-the-peak-occur-in-the-us/
    Chris states "... the usual logistical model (which I think turns out to be the wrong model for a virus... but let's just run with it for now) the usual logistical model (which I think turns out to be the wrong model for a virus... but let's just run with it for now) ...".


    - Will the highly infectious stage attenuate naturally, for example with the seasons? (influenza and ebola come to mind)
    - If the disease attenuates naturally will it simple re-surge shortly thereafter?

    As overly simplistic, alternative assumptions :
    - Do nothing - In other words, the same amount of [severe sickness, death], but spread over more or less time. - Middle of the road - self-isolation and other measures until the (very much reduced) rate of new infections stabilises at a But the benefits in providing a much better medical care for severe cases could dramatically reduce the number of deaths, understanding that this is a much lower fraction of the populationj that reporting suggests (perhaps 0.8 to 2%)?
    - Shut down the economy, and take the hit - the curve is "decaptitated" at the level afforded by [self-isolation, busines shutdowns] for a period of time that is only a small multiple (say 1.5 to 6 times) of the "do nothing" scenario. This seems to be the current assumption. But is it reasonable?

    I have no idea of which [scenarios, assumptions] are more likely. I'm sure that there are [health, science] professionals who have solid opinions about that, but they are dwarfed by dwarfed by a vast majority that don't. It's probably somewhere in papers and analysis, but is not profiled in the media.

    Maybe China, with so much [historical, recent] experience with [epidemics, pandemics] made hard decisions early, haken the hit that they deemed necessary, and now are getting on with life, cautiously.

    "Peak versus Area of the pandemic curve" - Is this issue yet another great [omission, deception] by our con-scientists? Is nobody awake in the mass media (again)? First, the public is led to believe that a two- period of self-isolation will do the trick, then a month, then a month and a half, and currently, so late in game, at least one or two journalists (Financial Post in Canada was the first that heard) pull out internal government documents suggesting a "best case cenario of July". But NO mention in the media of the worst case or median scenarios?

    Cut :
    Historically, people have always tried to hide from pandemics, with limited success (but critically important for those who saved themselves).
    There are occasional mentions that we aren't really "safe" (like influenza safe) until vaccines are developed for the different corona variants, plus the ability to rapidly adapt vaccines for new [variants, mutations] that can be expected over the next few decades with recurrences.
    I know nothing about infectious diseases, but over the decades even a simpleton like myself learns to smell out a rat, to spot the King with no clothes in the area of science. I'm used to this, mostly in the areas of [fundamental theoretical physics, astronomy, geology, history, computational intelligence...].
    I am somewhat blind to this in my hobby focus area of Computational Intelligence. CI is the epicenter of many of the critical excitement, not Artificial Intelligence (AI), the much older conceptual basis for "machine intelligence", although the [old-timer AI experts, media] have succeeded in "saran wrapping" concepts together to ensure continuity of support (actually, more from misunderstanding). Even many, if not most, CI experts use the AI term now. Unfortunately, that hides the very significant differences in the concepts, and leaves the public blind to the nature of the technology (unless they do their homework, sifting through mountains of misleading material).
    Pandemic checklist (horribly incomplete, omitting what is commonly said in the media) :
    - pandemics often have recurred in waves over decades
    - while the very [old, young] are often the most susceptible, really bad [epidemics, pandemics] are less discriminating (not so much COVID-19, by appearances)
    - while I don't trust any analysis fully, there seems to be stronger correlations of [disease, astronomy] than with many of the "controlable [social, helath] variables". Many aspects of solar activity have been pointed out for a very long time (perhaps even centuries?).

    **********
    31Mar2020

    https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/coronavirus-vaccine-update-when-will-a-covid-19-vaccine-be-ready-51585587652?mod=newsviewer_click
    When Will a Coronavirus Vaccine be Ready? These 9 Programs Are Making Progress.
    Last Updated: March 30, 2020 at 2:05 p.m. ET
    First Published: March 30, 2020 at 1:02 p.m. ET
    By Josh Nathan-Kazis
    My attempted blog (couldn't post)

    &&&&&&&&&&
    Wow! We're lucky, as this is a perfect time to [apply, test, screen, prove] more advanced science. Have I missed something? Because I haven't noticed any recent media news about armies of protesters (like the anti-GMO types) trying to stop good men from trying to build great businesses by providing awesome [goods, services, capabilities]. Am I delusional - maybe like war, COVID-19 will provide a platform for launching into new technologies quickly? Of course, safety first, just less obstacle courses to bleed the doers? Of course, there are risks, but perhaps the context puts them into perspective for once?


    *********
    30Mar2020

    +-----+
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-reasons-why-the-us-spread-of-covid-19-could-be-worse-than-italy-2020-03-30?mod=newsviewer_click_seemore
    5 reasons why the U.S. spread of COVID-19 could be worse than Italy
    Published: March 30, 2020 at 3:24 p.m. ET
    By Tomi Kilgore
    Infection growth likely to start slowing late-April before 'second wave' hits central U.S. cities; social distancing timeline likely to be pushed past April 30, Morgan Stanley says

    &&&&&&&&
    My comment :
    Without the availability of several vaccines for different corona virus variants (current and possibly new), won't the curve just shoot up again when self-isolation is reduced? Many thought (still think) that a "two week to a month to 2 month" period of self isolation would somehow "solve" the problem. But what if it's more like six months to a year? There seems to be something wrong with the expectations that have been built up in the public, and the [self-righteous, politically-correct] aren't saying what they propose to do at much higher levels of serious infections - the tough decisions that follow. China may have done that, and may have made tough decisions early. They might also have long been more resistant to such viruses?

    "Flattening the curve" is an understandable objective, from the point of view of reducing the load on the medical facilities and personnel, providing time for the build-up of capabilities to deal with it, and giving time for "moderation [medicine, treatments]" that doesn't cure but at least reduces the impact of serious cases. Perhaps the [media, medical experts] refrain from revealing detailed projections out of fear that they might be wrong (sued), but at present some of the best analysis I've seen is by complete amateurs who at least provided their [models, assumptions, historical] comparisons, and discussed the scenarios and implications quantitatively. This also seems to be the case right across different areas of science.

    31Mar2020 blog response, my comment
    Jons Ax :
    If people really "self" isolate with only a few family members, at the end of two weeks they will either have COVID-19 or be virus free. Testing can determine who should be allowed to go out. Unfortunately people still go out and don't keep proper distances and nor do proper cleaning so some will still have SARS-CoV-2 in their bodies. A factory that ships it's products could become a self contained unit with raw materials let set for 5 days before being used in manufacturing and then having the product loaded with no human to human interaction. Of course this would take the workers living on the premises for a while. I would think that some workers would think a temporary condition like that would be OK if they could get back to work and start making money again. After all, people deal with family members going on business trips and families deal with military members being deployed.

    My reply :
    Jons Ax - Thanks for your comment. I wonder, though, if [viruses, bacteria, microbes] survive for a long time in a dormant phase for [weeks, months, years], rather than simply being 100% eliminated by the bodies defenses? The common cold (some types of corona virus are involved, along with other pathogens?) might not be a good example, as it always seems to be active, although it has seasons of [high, low] prevalence. It seems that malaria (from what I've read, and my father's case) recurs on a ~7 year basis or something like that after the initial hit, albeit in milder forms? Herpes , if I remember correctly, is something like that too, although I have no idea of periodicity. Some kinds of skin diseases as well ([shackles, psoriasis])? Transmission is a different matter, though, and that seems to have "contagious periods" in individuals, but I have no idea of the details.

    JonsAx :
    Hi William. Malaria is a parasite protozoan that is good at hiding in the liver in a dormant stage and becomes active once in a while. Some bacteria can produce spores that are very hardy and long living but they stretch the definition of living in the spore state. The specific mechanism to go from spore to bacteria again in the right environment is not well known. Herpes hides in neural ganglia to avoid detection during a latent stage. On the other hand, the corona virus that is common cold survives by continuing to infect people and genetically changing enough that body defenses usually don't wipe it out before it has been passed on. In fact, I joke that you don't start getting better with a cold until you have solidly passed it on to someone else. SARS-CoV-2 is not a particularly hardy virus but it is good at infecting others who get too close to an infected person or get the virus from a surface that it is on.

    MY eply :
    Thanks, Jons Ax!


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